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Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Shrewsbury Stalemate, Injury Blow and ‘Risk’ to Club

Oxford United

Frustration seems to be a popular word amongst the Oxford United fanbase in recent weeks and the last seven days were no different.

The U’s have seen a massive injury blow and failed to pick up a league win, while the future of the club is “at risk.”

Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Injury Blow, Club Risk and Shrewsbury Stalemate

New Analyst Confirmed

On Monday, Oxford announced Joe Moore as the club’s new first-team coach analyst.

Moore, who had been the lead football analyst at Arsenal Women since 2022, also worked closely with Des Buckingham whilst in New Zealand.

Moore told the club’s official website: “It’s a really exciting time to come in.

“After the international break, we have seven big games and it’s important we have a strong end to the season. I’ve had a great welcome from the staff and the players, and I’m looking forward to getting on with it.

“The gaffer gave me a call to see if I’d be interested and it’s something that I immediately wanted to do.

“During our time with New Zealand, we developed a good working relationship, and we have a clear understanding of what we both want from each other.

“For me, it’s about giving the head coach and the coaching team the information they need to be able to go and be successful. That means being concise and clear with the detail I give them so it can enhance performance.

“I’m coming in and want to build process. We need to try and impact the here and now, but the reality with these roles is we’re aiming to put in place frameworks and processes that allow us to monitor and improve performance over a long period of time.”

Buckingham added: “Joe is a great addition to the staff and we’re delighted to have him on board. We know how each other operates and it comes at a really good time for the club.

“He comes with a wealth of experience from some diverse settings that will help give us that extra edge. This is another step in the right direction for the project that we are building.”

Matete Blow

On Wednesday, Sunderland loanee Jay Matete returned to his parent club after picking up a knee injury.

The January signing managed just six appearances for the U’s and the loss will be a blow to the clubs’ promotion hopes.

U’s head coach Des Buckingham said: “Jay will be out for about six to eight weeks, and obviously that will take us towards the end of the regular season.

“We’re just in discussions with Sunderland at the moment, to make a plan that is best for Jay, and make sure that he can get himself back to fully fitness.”

Future of the Club ‘At Risk’

On Thursday, Oxford United said the future of the club is “at risk” with the lease of their proposed new stadium still to be signed.

The club have been approved in principle the lease of the land north of the city centre but the heads of terms remain unsigned, more than six months after said approval.

A county council spokesperson said: “The council remains in ongoing dialogue with the football club as regards heads of terms.

“However, the club does have an agreement in principle in writing subject to the conditions set out by cabinet.

“It is standard procedure for large developments that a sale or lease is not completed until after planning has been granted and financial institutions would fully understand this process.”

Oxford United said in a statement: “In response to the council’s statement, to confirm, we do not have any of the legal agreements concluded.

“Six months after pledging to commit to a lease on the land at The Triangle, the heads of terms and lease agreement have been agreed by the club but remain unsigned by the council.

“We need the heads of terms and lease option with appropriate conditions signed as this is causing serious delay and is putting the project and the very future of the club at risk.”

Stevenage Rescheduled

Oxford’s home match against promotion rivals Stevenage has been moved to Friday, April 19, with an 8pm kick-off.

The game was originally due to be played on Saturday but has been selected by Sky Sports as a live fixture.

The U’s won on the road at Stevenage earlier in the season but lost heavily on their last televised match at Bolton.

Draw at Shrewsbury

Oxford then laboured to a 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury on Good Friday.

After a goalless first half, Billy Bodin put the U’s ahead after the restart but they were unable to hold out against the division’s lowest-scoring side.

A win for Lincoln means Des Buckingham’s side have dropped out of the top six on goal difference.

 

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